Herald and Journal, Oct. 25, 1999

Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board candidate profiles

Six candidates are seeking the five available positions in the Nov. 2 Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Boad election. All are incumbents.


1. Describe your past commitment to and your involvement in public schools, including enrollment decisions concerning your own children.

2. Would you support school reform plans, vouchers and other initiatives that would permit parents to use public funds to send their children to private elementary and secondary schools?

3. What should be the role of a school board member in selecting textbooks and curriculum materials? Who should be involved in the process of selecting textbooks and curriculum materials?

4. Do you support inclusion in the curriculum of courses and materials dealing with multiculturalism?

5. Do you believe the following should be included in family life or health education programs: sex education, parenting, AIDS education, contraception alternatives, abstinence only, wellness clinics, alternative lifestyles?

6. What is your position on teaching creationism as an alternative to the theory of evolution in public schools?

7. Do you support prayer in public schools? If so, under what circumstances do you believe prayer in public schools is appropriate?

8. Recent research and court actions indicate that sexual harassment is a problem at schools. How do you believe schools should address this issue?

9. What are your top five objectives if you are elected to the school board?

10. Describe what you believe is the primary function of a school board member? What special contribution could you make as a board member?

11. Give a brief biography of yourself - family, etc.

Jim Fowler

1. I am a product of public schools, graduating from Truman High School and Southwest State University, Marshall, Minn. with a degree in agri-business.

My wife and I chose to send our children to HLWW schools when we moved to Winsted 12 years ago.

Sarah graduated in 1998 and now attends North Dakota State University, majoring in ag education.

Wade graduated from HLWW in 1999 and attends St. John's University, majoring in economics. Emma is a junior at HLWW.

Their interests are primarily in music and FFA, where top quality programs have been developed. Sarah and Wade report back with a feeling that they were prepared for the transition to college by their academic experiences at HLWW.

We have been very happy with the programs and opportunities available for our family.

We have been actively involved with the education system while our children have been in school, and I have served on the school board for four and a half years.

2. Whenever public funds are used, there are conditions and strings attached.

A private school taking public money will eventually lose control of a portion of its decision making process and have to meet requirements mandated by the state.

In my estimation, this erodes the positive aspects of private education and could make them simply extensions of the public systems and not a positive alternative to public education that they are today.

3. The HLWW school has a curriculum committee that consists of a school board member, teachers, administration, and numerous representatives from the district that review curriculum on an on-going basis.

They report to the school board, and board members have an opportunity to question or provide input to the process.

I feel that this broad-based committee has served the district well and should continue in its role.

4-8. These questions appear to be an attempt on the part of the editorial staff to create discord and conflict within the district.

The questions raise issues that have not been presented to the school board as problems within our district and do not have an immediate bearing on the decisions that face this district.

The personal opinion of one local school board member will not affect a national social debate; however, I do feel that it is time to focus on our own parenting skills instead of expecting the school system to deal with more social issues.

9. I have served on the Long Range Facilities Task Force and the Site Task Force and feel that my primary objective is to continue the task force process and help develop a plan that will result in the construction of a new high school for our district. (I would like to) work on the Laker Pride committee and with the new Laker Pride coordinator to develop programs that promote the positive aspects of our school district.

A long-term goal for my involvement is for all residents of the district, regardless of age, hometown, or private school affiliation, to take an active interest and ownership in the success of the district.

(I would) strive to deliver quality academics and a well-rounded extracurricular program, while remaining committed to responsible fiscal management.

(I would) continue to serve on the buildings and grounds subcommittee to oversee the use and maintenance of the facilities.

10. The primary function of a school board is to hire administrative staff that can manage the school and that can maintain the trust of the board.

We have accomplished this with an excellent staff in Superintendent Riley Hoheisel and Principals Mike Day, Dean Wessman, and Julie Millerbernd.

I can contribute a strong business and finance background.

11. My family and I have lived in Winsted for the past 12 years.

I am employed by Community Bank Winsted as Vice President and have 25 years work experience in banking and finance.

I was elected to the school board in 1995 and currently serve as a member of the Long Range Facilities Task Force and the Site Task Force.

In addition, I am a member of the Laker Pride committee, the buildings and grounds committee, and the community education advisory board.

Carol Fury

1. I have been involved in the delivery of services to students in the public school system since 1994 as a school board member.

I am committed to public education and believe that the students who currently receive services throughout the district of Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) have the opportunity to achieve a quality education.

2. Regarding school reform plans, vouchers, initiatives and other related alternative programs, my experience and knowledge of these plans are relevant to the State of Minnesota and its decision to process and approve said incentives.

As a current member of the HLWW School Board, I acknowledge that district students choose to receive their educational services through private venues.

As a responsible board member, I take direction related to voucher and incentive programs through the State of Minnesota and legislative action.

If the State of Minnesota and its voting population decide to provide voucher or related programs, it is up to the parents or guardians of the child to make the determination as to their choice of schools and how they might utilize alternative programs.

As a representative of the current district, I support public schools as well as parental choice to select alternative sources of education for their children.

3. At HLWW public schools, there is a venue to review all curriculum materials and make final recommendations to the board of education. This process provides opportunities for all interested parties to express their opinion on all subject matters.

I believe this is an appropriate and fair process for review of materials related to education of the students.

4. Related to the topic of multiculturalism, if the reference is related to teaching our youth regarding the values, morals and standards of persons with a diverse background economically, intellectually, educationally as well as geographically, I am certain that this is a standard part of curriculum for all students regardless of their locale for receiving educational services.

5. HLWW Public Schools are committed to the evaluation and review of all materials involved in the curriculum of educating our students.

There is a current committee within the structure of the school system which reviews, recommends and approves the components of each study area.

As a current school board member, I am confident in the decisions that are made relevant to all courses currently offered at HLWW.

6. No comment.

7. No comment

8. I believe the current policies and procedures in place at all district schools are clear and direct, that harassment in any form is not tolerated.

Our superintendent and administrative staff are responsible to ensure that the message of zero tolerance is implemented in all areas of our public school district.

9. The five topics of continued discussion and priority for me as a school board member include: involvement with and review of the Facilities Task Force work, continued professional involvement as a local community member to represent educational issues in all forms, representation on the special education cooperative (MAWSECO), fiscal stability for the district and preserving a culture and climate for all students which represents safety and opportunities for learning.

10. I believe that the primary function of a school board member is to be informed and aware of the circumstances which influence his or her decisions.

I spend a great deal of time preparing for meetings, as well as to be involved in processes which affect recommendations to the board.

My decisions are based on information provided to me by the administration, through research of current events and those which benefit the common good of the student body.

The special contributions I make as a member of the school board relate to professional experience, my educational background and basing my choices on solid facts and "common sense."

I have spent the past five years acclimating to the needs of our student population, becoming increasingly involved in all aspects of managing the district and contributing in the areas where I believe a difference can be made.

For the past five years I have been the HLWW board representative to MAWSECO, where significant progress has occurred.

The working climate and comfort level of employees and students involved in the cooperative has shown significant progress.

We, the collaborative of local representatives from seven local school boards, have worked together to create a far better educational environment through commitment to education for all persons regardless of their handicapping condition.

This, for me, has been a great contribution with positive results in all areas of school management.

11. I am a professional person who is committed to the education of all students within the parameters of our school district.

I have lived in the Lake Mary area of Victor Township for seven years.

My background includes administration of social services and related education programs to persons with disabilities in a variety of environments, including: educational, social, recreational, employment and residential settings.

My educational credentials include the University of Minnesota, majoring in psychology and behavioral analysis, Metropolitan State University Human Services Administration with a bachelor of arts degree, as well as study toward a masters degree in business through the University of Minnesota.

Eugene Lorentz

1. I am presently in my third term as a member of the HLWW school board.

In that time, I have served on various committees, including buildings and grounds, chief negotiator for contract agreements, and board chair.

I have also attended sessions at the state legislature concerning education bills. My children have either graduated from, or are presently attending, HLWW.

2. At this time, I would not support vouchers to use public funds for private schools.

3. The selection of textbooks and curriculum materials is currently done by MEEP or the curriculum advisory board, made up of administration, curriculum leader, and volunteer members from the community with a recommendation to the board.

4. Yes, I do support materials dealing with multiculturalism, simply because of the make-up or our society today.

5. I think that all of these subjects should be included in health education at age-appropriate times.

6. I do not feel that creationism should be taught as an alternative, but rather that both should be taught.

7. The Constitution does not allow prayer in public schools, but I believe that students should be allowed to pray on their own when they feel the need to do so.

8. Our school district has an established sexual harassment policy to handle any situation that may arise in this area.

9. My top objectives would be student achievement, building maintenance, school policy, and budgets.

10. The primary function is to see that the children of the district get the best education possible by the best use of funds available and to provide a safe environment in which the students can learn.

My past experience as a board member would be my special contribution to the district.

11. I have lived in Howard Lake all my life.

My wife, Terry, and I own and operate the family farm where I was raised.

We have three sons, Tony, a senior this year, Pat, a junior, and our eldest son, Jeff. and his wife, Amy, who live in Maple Lake with our three grandsons, Jacob, Jordan, and Jackson.

I am a member of First Presbyterian Church of Howard Lake, and an 18-year member of American Legion Post 145.

James Raymond

1. I have served the HLWW school district for over 10 years. My two sons graduated from HLWW.

2. Some experiments are being done on the voucher system and I'm waiting to see what the results are.

3. The school board has a curriculum committee.

One board member sits on that committee, which is made up of staff, administration teachers and parents. It has worked well in the past.

4. Yes, at HLWW we have these courses in the curriculum.

5. As the district has in the past, we will deal with these issues of society as they become a concern of our parents and students.

The parents have a right to choose the classes their students attend on these social issues.

6. It's an issue that is going to have to come up through the community, as to what parents want taught.

7. It has been shown that some sort of moment for personal silent contemplation is helpful, but again, this should be generated by the community.

8. All forms of harassment should not be permitted.

9. I'd like to stay on the school board until the school building issue is resolved.

I continue to support Laker Pride to improve public perception of our schools. It is important to strengthen the already strong agriculture program in the district, and maybe we could become a sort of magnet school for students interested in agriculture.

The district is in a good position financially at this time and I would work at maintaining and improving that status.

10. The primary function of a school board member is to hire a competent administration to guide the school district and carry out the directives of the school board. Having been board chair for the past four years, I feel it is important to support the superintendent.

11. My wife, Mary, and I have two sons, James and Ben, and one grandson, Erick.

We have lived on and operated a dairy farm north of Howard Lake for the past 23 years.

Charles Weber

1. I have been on various committees over the past 20 years: on the Winsted school board 20 years ago, and on the HLWW board for the past three and a half years. All my children went to HLWW schools.

2. Undecided, because of separation of church and state.

3. We have a curriculum committee comprised of board members, teachers, and parents, which I feel is doing a good job.

4. Yes.

5. Yes, but at appropriate ages only.

6. Should teach and discuss both.

7. Yes, at times of crisis, within their own groups, on their own time.

8. Two strikes and you're out the door.

9. To pursue a new facility, if so indicated by the survey; keep a tight rein on the budget; (provide) new classes along with new educations to improve test scores; to negotiate fair and good contracts.

10. To represent all residents of the district, fairly and equally. I am open minded (and will) compromise and make common sense judgements.

11. I am 61-years old, married for 38 years, with nine children and 19 grandchildren. I have worked with the mentally challenged for 27 years. I am a veteran. Hobbies include raising Chihuahuas and restoring my classic autos and tractors.

Kenneth Zimmerman

1. I was born and lived in Winsted all my life. I received my education at Holy Trinity and Winsted Public School.

I served my country in the army for two years, most of it in France. My employment was with Pure Milk Company and then Advance Machine Company for 32 years, where I was a leadman and foreman for over 20 years.

I've been married over 39 years to my wife, Marlene. We have one son, Kenneth, who also went to Winsted Public School and Holy Trinity. I'm a member of Holy Trinity Church, belong to the Knights of Columbus and served as Grand Knight in the past.

I also belong to the Winsted American Legion. I've been on the public school board for 11 years.

During my time, I've served on one or more of these committees: vice chairperson, buildings and grounds committee, community education advisory board, negotiation committee, and the booster club.

Each and every person in our district has the right to a good education, regardless of race, color, or religious beliefs.

God created us all equal. It is an individual's right how he/she wishes to express him/herself.


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